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Petrochemical refineries in Houston metro area
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Harvey: Refineries Spewed 1 Million Lbs. of Seven Air Toxics

Amid Harvey's devastation the Center for Biological Diversity analyzed industry data. We found that south Texas refineries and petrochemical plants released nearly 1 million pounds of seven dangerous air pollutants through flaring and spills during storm flooding.

A staggering 951,000 pounds of pollutants known to seriously harm people — including by causing cancer — were emitted by Aug. 31 from oil and gas facilities. The pollutants are benzene, 1,3-butadiene, hexane, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, toluene and xylene.

"Oil-industry facilities spewed tons of truly dangerous chemicals into defenseless communities, despite ample warnings about hurricane risk," said Shaye Wolf, the Center scientist who compiled the analysis. "The petroleum industry seems unwilling to take responsibility for operating safely, even as climate change makes storms like Harvey more destructive."

Read more in Salon.

Border wall

Suit Fights Waiver of Environmental Laws for Border Wall

We're expanding our lawsuit against Trump's border wall. This week the Center challenged the Trump administration's authority to waive dozens of environmental laws so it can rush construction of the wall and prototypes in Southern California.

A study by the Center identified more than 90 imperiled species threatened by proposed wall construction along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border. The 30-foot-high prototypes near San Diego would be built on land that's critical habitat for several endangered species.

"Trump is willing to throw environmental protections out the window to fulfill his divisive and destructive campaign promise," said the Center's Brian Segee. "What's to stop him from using this lawless approach to wreck wildlife refuges and beautiful public lands all along the border? We need to halt these unconstitutional waivers once and for all, here in San Diego."

Read more in our press release.

After 40 Years Texas Grass Gets Protection

Big Bend National Park

The long fight to save Guadalupe fescue, an ecologically important grass in Texas, is finally paying off. This week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service put the grass on the endangered species list and protected more than 7,000 acres of its habitat.

The decision is part of the Center's 2011 legal settlement to secure protection decisions for 757 species. Guadalupe fescue, a type of bunchgrass, was first identified as needing protection in 1975. "Cows ate this grass to the brink of extinction," said the Center's Michael Robinson. "I'm glad it's finally getting help." Read more.

Ignite Change logo

Ignite Change — Are You In?

These are extraordinary times, and if we're going to save our wildlife and wild places, we have to mount extraordinary resistance.

That's why the Center is launching Ignite Change, a massive, volunteer-driven network to challenge Trump, call out members of Congress, organize and attend rallies, activate locally, and be a powerful, visible, sustained voice for the planet.

This is the single-largest grassroots project the Center has ever undertaken — and we need you to make it successful. Take a moment today to join Ignite Change, and our team of trained activists will be back in touch quickly with the next steps.

Bear and cub

Check out new footage of borderlands critters. The U.S.-Mexico borderlands comprise one of the biggest ecosystem complexes in North America, with some of the most remote and important wildlife habitats remaining on the continent. Watch the video on Facebook or YouTube.


Win in Nevada: Court Sends Destructive Pipeline Back to BLM

A judge has ruled that the Southern Nevada Water Authority's controversial $15.5 billion groundwater pipeline project can't move forward as planned.

After a suit by the Center and allies, represented by Earthjustice, the court found that the BLM broke the law by not showing how it would compensate for the havoc the pipeline would wreak on wetlands and wildlife. It would siphon 7.8 billion gallons of groundwater yearly from the eastern Nevada desert, including parts of Great Basin National Park and three national wildlife refuges. Then it would pump the water 250 miles to Las Vegas, drying up thousands of acres of habitat for sage grouse, elk and pronghorn.

Read more in the Las Vegas Sun.

In The Revelator: New Environmental Books

Revelator logo

Dozens of new conservation-themed books hit the shelves this month. The Revelator picks eight favorites.

The timely Grand Canyon for Sale investigates efforts to undermine public lands and their wildlife, while Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus shows how to alleviate poverty, create jobs and save Earth in A World of Three Zeros. Then there's the amazing endangered-species art book Critical Critters and The Rights of Nature, about revolutionary cases that have granted legal rights to animals and ecosystems. Learn more in September's "Revelator Reads."

Pacific walruses

Trump's Fish and Wildlife Urged to Protect Pacific Walrus

Conservation groups including the Center have urged Trump's Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the Pacific walrus under the Endangered Species Act before the September deadline for the agency's protection decision.

That decision, due as the result of a 2011 settlement of our lawsuit, will determine whether the walrus will be given protection from the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice caused by human-induced climate change.

"The only thing preventing the walrus's protection is politics," said Shaye Wolf, a Center scientist.

Read more and take action.

Love the Center? Help Spread the Word on Facebook

Phone displaying Center Facebook page

Are we friends on Facebook? Connect with us to stay up on the Center's work to save wildlife and wild places. Already connected? Then help us build a stronger community by spreading the word on social media.

It's simple. On our Facebook page, find the "Invite your friends" section under "Community" and ask friends on your list to like us. You'll feel great as you see how many people share your conservation passion.

Laysan alabtrosses in mating dance

Wild & Weird: The Mating Dance of the Laysan Albatross

Laysan albatrosses range across the Pacific Ocean from about the latitude of Costa Rica to the Bering Sea. But every year, beginning in November, they gather in colonies in the Hawaiian archipelago on sandy islands like Laysan and Midway.

There, mature pairs engage in an elaborate and curious courtship "dance" of coordinated movements — touching bills, spreading wings, bobbing heads, pointing bills to the sky — accompanied by horn-like calls and bill clicks. Once they mate, the birds' bond is broken only by the death or disappearance of one of them. Year after year the bonded pair finds each other on the same beach where they first nested.

Watch the curious mating dance of the albatross on Facebook or YouTube.

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Photo credits: Petrochemical refineries in the Houston metro area by Ken Lund/Wikimedia; border wall by Tomas Castelazo/Wikimedia; Big Bend National Park, Texas, by Gary Nored/Flickr; Ignite Change logo courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; bear and cub by Russell McSpadden/Center for Biological Diversity; pronghorn by Tatiana Gettelman/Flickr; The Revelator logo courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; Pacific walruses courtesy USFWS; Facebook app by Anna Mirocha/Center for Biological Diversity; Laysan albatrosses by Ann Bell/USFWS.

Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702